Do i need to carry my passport on me when sightseeing?
Assuming you are not travelling in any of the more authoritarian countries where ID checks occur from time to time, the answer is no. (And really, I have travelled in authoritarian countries, and have only ever been passport checked while I'm travelling between towns)quote:Do i need to carry my passport on me when sightseeing?
It's a preference thing - do you feel your passport is safer when you physically have it on you, or when it's at your hotel or hostel? Some have safes, but not all. Personally, I dislike being separated from my passport when it's anywhere less secure than my own home.
When travelling internationally, your passport is the only universally accepted ID. But for most 18+ type venues it's highly probable that an IDP, a driver's license from home, or sometimes even a student ID card would be accepted.quote:and what type of ID is acceptable for drinking, and 18+ venues?
Depends what country and how old you look. Many European countries are very liberal about alcohol and aren't likely to ID check anyone. Some have drinking ages low enough that anyone old enough to travel alone will clearly and obviously be above the limit. Others have stricter liquor laws. If you're still a teenager (or look like one) best to be prepared.quote:Is my ID likely to be checked for a glass of wine over lunch?
It also depends if you just enjoy a glass or two of wine, or are out to get plastered. They might look a little closer if its the latter.
Switzerland should have no trouble accepting your drivers license or other official ID from Australia. I know Italy less, but wouldnt be surprised if its the same.
If the hotel does not have a safe I would keep the passport on you. I too get a little clingy with my passport when I am abroad, but it does depend where I am if I carry it with me or not. For instance I do a lot of snorkeling and some scuba diving. So I usually leave all my identification in the hotel when I am in or around the water.
Italy will be no problem. I can tell you I only found one establishment that ever carded me when I was 18 and that was only because we were ordering shots. Wine is truly considered part of food in Italy. Many restaurants leave a bottle of house red on every table, expecting most customers to want wine with their meal.
If you are into going on the night club scene make sure you have an ID, but again only the more "American" places would tend to hassle you and a driver's license or student ID card tends to work. I would definitely get an ISIC (International Student ID card) as you are under 26 and it gets many discounts all throughout Europe.
In Belgium, you do have to have your passport or ID card with you at all times, and I think that is the case for most of Europe, with some exceptions (the Netherlands and the UK, that I know of).
I have never been asked for ID to drink (even when I was under 16), but you may need to prove your age going to some clubs or discos, or when going to a movie that you have to be over 16 for (I was asked until well into my twenties). Also, if you get into an accident or something, not having your passport doesn't seem smart.
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I believe it offers the same discounts. Most countries give "student" discounts on transportation to anyone under 26. Saves quite a chunk of change. The best savings I had was when I spent two weeks in North Rhine area of Germany and got a ticket that was good for two weeks unlimited travel anywhere in that state for 16 Euro. It covered my around town and inter-city transportation for the whole trip.
Other than police, you'll seldom use it in these countries. One thing. If you're driving in the back seat of a car in Germany, and have no seatbelt, they'll want the passport to give you a fine. I suppose Switzerland is like that as well if you rent cars.
Now, I've never really had to take out my passport except to deal with sundry police issues, none of them having to do with my arrest!!!!
Usually Its used to make a police report if something is stolen and insurance covers the item. IN this case a copy won't do.
I use an under the pants holder that is pretty much invisible, and survived the one time I WAS robbed, due to a very stupid set of circumstances that goes under
Bad Traveller, BAD thread. Ie, I was far more stupid than I can credit now, even thinking back on it. I should have known better.
When I was 17, I wandered all over Rome and Florence by myself while my grandmother lay in a room sick. I had no guidebook, and no intention of buying one. I just used the tourist maps and asked people what was good to see. I had no problems at all. Stay away from bands of gypsies in very tourist locations and you should be fine in Italy. They tend to be pickpockets.
This leads to advise #2
Keep no real ID or credit cards in your wallet or purse, always in a hidden belly unit, or somewhere hidden. That way when you are pickpocketed, and if you travel enough it will happen at least once, they only get walking around cash. Keep all wallets in front pockets, not rear pockets. Sometimes they're pros and you just have no chance when they work in groups.
Never keep your Passport or identity documents say, in a backpack, for if you leave it sitting somewhere, and its snatched... bye......
My mom once took a train in Paris. She was holding on to the strup of her purse very hard and conscienciously. When she got off the train thats all she had.........
They are good, and fast, and you will never know what, how or where it happened.
Credit cards, valuable ID, and majority of money should not be in a purse outside your body.
Make sure to split up any cash you have so if you lose some, its not the end of the world.
Its a judgement call though.
- Is it more likely to be stolen from you or your room/safe?
My passport never leaves me unless I'm in the shower. I've heard too many horror stories.
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